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Clearing the Beer

So I brewed my first batch a few days ago. It is an Irish Red Ale from a kit of which I measured out only enough ingredients for a 1 gallon batch. Everything went well. The steeping worked perfectly, the boil went well with the hop additions exactly as instructions indicated. Then the fast cooling in a sink of ice water to about 80 degrees. Then into the primary fermenter with the rehydrated yeast. I gave it a good stir to work in some oxygen and a couple days later I had a good fermentation going. At SG 1.02 it went into the secondary where it is now. The fermentation is done according to the hydrometer readings for the last few day. The aroma is great. BUT it hasn’t yet cleared. There were no fining agents included in the kit nor were any mentioned. How long should I wait for it to clear and should I rack it at some point? Should I use any fining agents in my next batch like Irish Moss? Ideas?

Put it in your refrigerator

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Time will clear your beer. Since you said the fermentation was complete before the secondary give it a few more days. I just let my beers clear in the primary. Usually three weeks then bottle.

Go with refrigerating since it is only one gallon. Five gallons would be different unless you have a very understanding wife.

You brewed a few days ago? How many days? What yeast did you use? How long was it on the yeast cake?

So you stared with 5 gallons and now after samples down to 1? :blush: Put it in the fridge as the others have said… All things do eventually clear, given time… Sneezles61

Yes, put it in the fridge as close to freezing as possible. After bottling or kegging serve it a little warmer.

BTW Even if the kit says to chill to 80° then pitch the yeast, way colder is better like in the 60s if you can do it and keep it there. Also skip the rehydration. I can feel @flars cringing at that last one.:wink:


I’ll bet he tipped over due to exhaustion from talking about it! Sneezles61

I wouldn’t recommend rehydrating the yeast for a one gallon brew. The yeast that isn’t used for the one gallon brew will be wasted unless more brew sessions are planned in quick succession.

Just use a little more yeast if it is true that up to 50% may die pitching onto the wort. Are you pooking fun at me?

Oh nooo, no no… Just getting your attention? :sunglasses: Sneezles61

I have been using Irish Moss (along with yeast nutrient), added at 15 minutes before the end of the boil. When I started using it, it seemed to help. For me, there is a side benefit to my brewing process - I’m never late for the 10 minute hop addition. In most of my recipes, there is a 30 - 45 minute gap between start of boil and the 1st kettle addition (at 15 minutes) so I’m often off doing other things. Starting with the 15 minute addition, I stay close to the kettle so that the 10, 5, and flame-out additions are added ‘on time’.

A rather unusual way to brew a gallon batch. Pitching at 80* is that typographical error :confounded: that’s apparently still in the five gallon kit recipes (like @hd4mark said, mid 60s is better).

I’m going to guess that you pitched around 2 grams of yeast (saving the other 4/5 of the package for the rest of the batch). If so, the rehydrating the yeast seems reasonable when working in relatively “uncharted” territory (brewing 1/5 of a five gallon batch).

Some additional thoughts on yeast in smaller batches:

  • It’s reasonable that the simplest (and safest) thing to do is start with a fresh package of yeast, pitch around 1/2 of it, and discard the rest. Only the outside of the outside of the package and the scissors need to be sanitized.
  • It’s also true that people post about pitching 2 grams of yeast into one gallon batches. And yeast calculators will confirm that this is a correct amount to pitch. (Let’s leave open the possibility that there may be other ‘correct’ amounts to pitch :slight_smile: ).
  • With gallon batches, my personal experience with fermentation temperatures in the 65* range (+/- ~2*) is that I can pitch either 1/4 package or 1/2 package, either dry or rehydrated, and get the same result.
  • I’m back to pitching 1/2 packages dry (for a while anyway :slight_smile: ). Open packages get used with 4 - 6 weeks of being opened.
  • In your recipe notes, it may be helpful to track if you used the 1st half of the yeast package or the 2nd half of the yeast package.

Very good reply Chertel! We should also point out the date on the yeast package is an important factor of the viability of yeast. That being said, warm weather will affect yeast tremendously! Sneezles61

As to fining agents, I haven’t put any in my kettle for so long, I forgot I have some! Everything changed when I went to a controlled fermenter. So, as being said, chill and wait. I promise you it will work. There is also gelatin… Brulosophy has some great articles about its use and how much. That will be a good read for you too! Sneezles61

I suppose I should have mentioned I’ve made wine for over 10 years so I have some insight and experience on using different yeasts and with cold crashing. I have used parts of yeast packets many times and saved the remaining amounts sometimes for up to 2 years with very good results. You just need to understand how to store yeast. I rehydrate any yeast I am not sure about…old, past exp date, opened, not stored correctly, etc. Otherwise I pitch directly into the must/wort.
I made an apple ale last year with great results. And another batch this last summer from our own apples and it too turned out great. There is no boil with apple ale, but rather like making a weak apple wine and carbonating it.
Anyway, after reviewing all your suggestions, I will leave the beer set for another week and if no improvement on clarity, then it will go in the fridge for as long as it takes.
I just am undecided on leaving it on the lees/trub for too long. Should I rack it soon or how long is acceptable before off tastes become an issue?

If there is any left to ferment, I would suspect it will finish, or be very close after a week. Do another sample to see whats going on… or not. I would still put in the fridge for cold crashing after this next week. Sneezles61

The “best” advice I’ve seen/read/heard so far suggests closing the packet tightly, wrap a rubber band around to hold it tight, and toss it in the fridge. That’s what I’m doing and it works for me for 4 - 6 weeks. Are you doing something different that keeps the yeast viable longer?

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